Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006


This blog periodically takes (gentle, good natured, we kid because we love) swipes at skating and skaters. But skating and skaters have also done a lot of good for a lot of people.

Michelle Kwan (see link above) has been involved with The Children's Miracle Network. Sasha Cohen works with Soldiers Angels and Girls Inc.

Scott Hamilton, in addition to his recent work with various cancer causes, also used to donate $2.00 from every Stars on Ice ticket purchased with a Discover Card (their one time sponsor) to the local Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Kristi Yamaguchi, with support from Paul Wylie, Peggy Fleming, Chen Lu, and Rosalynn Sumners, sponsors an in-line Skate-A-Thon in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to raise money for her personal Always Dream Foundation, whose beneficiaries include the Japanese-American Children's Cultural and Arts Fund.

Debi Thomas found time around her hectic medical school schedule to speak at Soar for Success, a program directed at motivating young women to pursue traditionally male careers.

Kurt Browning served as ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada, and his association with sponsor Kellog's led to the creation of the Browning Fund, which supports young Canadian skaters.

For the 1997-98 season, Cook's Champagne, primary sponsor of Todd Eldredge, pledged to donate $1,000 to City of Hope, a medical research center, every time Todd landed a Triple Jump in competition through the 1998 Nationals.

Tragically, the cause many skaters find themselves needing to support the most is fundraising for AIDS research. So many skaters and those close to the sport have died from the disease that Brian Orser, after losing his friend, 1988 Olympic Dance Bronze Medalist Rob McCall, in 1992, spearheaded Skate the Dream, an on-ice tribute to all those who have passed away.

The spark for the Rob McCall Centre for HIV Research fundraiser came from Rob himself, who, in the days before he died, worked to make the show happen. The title referred to Rob's dream of coming up with a cure, and of seeing his favorite skaters performing together. CTV aired the special across Canada, and flashed a number at the bottom of the screen so viewers could call and make donations. Along with producing the subsequent Skate the Dream, Orser also, through his Brian Orser Productions, developed several benefits for the Calgary Hospital, and became the national spokesperson for Friends with AIDS.

Because of their contributions to so many grandscale worthy causes, it would seem the busy skaters wouldn't have time to take an interest in individuals.

Yet, ABC's Doug Wilson reveals that the opposite is true. He explains, "When my wife died, I thought that (to the skaters) I was just the TV guy who showed up now and then at an event. My wife had requested that a fund be started to renovate the sacristy in our church. I didn't even reach out and let anybody in the skating world know about this. (But), the day after she died, a phone call came from Tom Collins. Another phone call came from Jill Trenary. The first significant check for the renovation of the sacristy arrived from Scott Hamilton. In 1991, I found out the skating world has a huge heart."


  • At November 10, 2006 10:46 AM, Anonymous said…

    This is a nice article, but I just wanted to mention that Rob McCall died on November 15,1991, not 1992


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